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First-Time Millennial Homeowners Are More Practical Than You Think: Survey

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The Fixer Upper generation has spoken!

A recent study by Better Homes and Gardens reveals that first-time millennial  home buyers (ages 22-39) aren’t afraid of purchasing a house that needs a little TLC.

“Firsts,” as BHG calls this group, “are extremely practical about homeownership. While they have aspirational dream homes, they have a realistic approach to their goals and budgets when it comes to home buying and renovating,” the report states. It also points out that they are more likely “to live in lower-end homes that are aging and in need of fixing up.” In fact, 50% said at move-in their properties required some degree of repair.

This generation also isn’t afraid of getting their hands dirty. Nearly 90% of the survey’s respondents reported being very or extremely interested in learning about home repair and improvement projects, with three out of four saying they already do some DIY-ing in their home. Painting walls, laying tile and installing light fixtures topped the list of easy updates millennials seek information about for their homes.

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In addition to not shying away from real-life fixer-uppers, millennials are also seemingly levelheaded about the daunting decision to purchase a home. Although 85% of the 605 respondents said that owning a home is an important part of their “American Dream,” the report also revealed that there’s a sense of practicality with regard to goals and cost concerns.

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“These first time millennial homeowners are focused on building equity – not debt,” says Jill Waage, editorial director of digital content and products for BHG. “They are strong believers in being able to afford their dreams as they achieve them and not over stretch themselves.”

That’s not to say that they don’t have house goals: 64% responded that renovated kitchens were at the top of their want lists, with bathrooms close behind at 60%, and deck and patio spaces at 59%, all of which they said they plan to accomplish as they become more financially equipped.

Contrary to the ribbing they often receive in pop culture, millennials seem to have a good head on their shoulders, according to Waage, who says, “These ‘firsts’ are replacing big-budget homes and expensive renovations with patience, frugalness and practicality.”